CD MASH [Original Soundtrack/Johnny Mandel] (CD 399649),
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MASH [Original Soundtrack/Johnny Mandel]
Original Soundtrack/Johnny Mandel
1. Suicide Is Painless
2. Duke and Hawkeye Arrive at M.A.S.H.: Dedication Scroll / Jeep Ride To Camp / Tokyo Shoe Shine Boy (Sei-ichi Ida-Masami Sano) / Onward, Christian Soldiers / My Blue Heaven
3. The Operating Theater: Happy Days Are Here Again
4. Major Houlihan and Major Burns: Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo / Hail To The Chief / Sayonara (Japanese Farewell Song)
5. ...Resurrection: The Jig's Up / Suicide Is Painless / Tent Scene
6. Hot Lips' Shows Her True Colors: Chattanooga Choo Choo
7. Moments to Remember: Happy Days Are Here Again
8. The Football Game: The Washington Post March / Kill'em Galop
9. Going Home: Happy Days Are Here Again
10. M.A.S.H Theme
11. Dedication Scroll / Jeep Ride - (bonus track)
12. Jig's Up, The - (bonus track)
13. To Japan - (bonus track)
14. Japanese Children's Hospital - (bonus track)
15. Tent Scene - (bonus track)
16. Kill'em Galop - (bonus track)
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 66804
On face value, this soundtrack made a lot more sense as a release in 1970, before the advent of home video, than it seems to in 2000. The movie M*A*S*H was part of that new wave of American cinema in which the traditional Hollywood method of scoring, with original, Romantic-style instrumental music backing many of the most important scenes, was abandoned. Instead, Johnny Mandel's work largely involved arranging period tunes and effect music (especially military and football-related themes), although he also wrote a memorable main title theme ("Suicide Is Painless"), which proved to be a gold mine many times over with its use in the long-running television series spawned two years after the movie. The "Theme From M*A*S*H," as it's usually known, is heard in several different arrangements, including the often heard jazz version by Ahmad Jamal, and its very first appearance, with its thoroughly depressing lyric sung in the style of the Lettermen (vocals credited to "The Mash"). It also reappears in its best incarnation ever, as a folk-blues solo number in the middle of the sequence labeled "Painless' Suicide, Funeral, and Resurrection" (and one wishes the singer were credited). The rest is primarily incidental music evoking the period and setting within the film and the ironies behind its violent, comical action, arranged by Mandel, all interspersed with extended dialogue sequence. It holds up much better than one would expect, the editing of the dialogue and music summing up the movie beautifully and in a surprisingly lively and exciting fashion. And that bluesy rendition of "Suicide Is Painless" is a good musical bonus as well, and points up one bet that the producers of the television series missed -- in the first season, when they had Loudon Wainwright III as a recurring character (Captain Spaulding), he sang a few songs, but he never sang "Suicide Is Painless." ~ Bruce Eder
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